Alison Moyet Q&A!


Alison Moyet is scheduled to perform in Auckland tonight. Although Monday night’s show in Christchurch is sold out, there are still a few tickets available to see her tonight at the ASB Theatre is Auckland. 

The 13th Floor has been provided with an Alison Moyet Q&A…we thought you might like to check it out:


— You’re about to take on a huge world tour. You’ve said in the past that a lot of touring is being picked up from the airport, taken to the hotel and venue, and then on to the next destination, and you don’t tend to do much outside of performing when you’re on the road. But do you enjoy it?

I enjoy it much more now. The reason I don’t do much other stuff [on tour] is obviously that this is going to be a 58-date tour, so the demand on the voice is really big. The trouble with me is I’ll have a few beers and then get too lairy and start chatting too loud and lose my voice, which is why no one allows me to hang out with anybody else, which is quite sensible and I’m good about that. But this time I intend to see far more about where I go around. I’m also at college doing sculpture at the moment so I intend to see as much art in the places that I go to as I can.

— Why sculpture? Tell me about that.

Just because I wanted to do something with my hands. I was brought up to be quite dexterous, to do stuff like that. Art is something I always intended to do. I would have done it from school but I had no qualifications to go to college and so I did the next easiest thing, which was sing. But I always wanted to do art and I always was expecting my career to give up on me at any time, and it never did. So I had to jump and say I’m going to make that call and, of course, I made that call and signed up the week my management called up and said ‘OK, we’ve got a deal, you’ve got to start your record now as well’. So I’d be up at 6am going to college all day, then going over to the studio in the evenings and then writing at weekends. It’s been really bonkers full-on.

— It must be a great, creatively satisfying period?

Yes, it really is because all I was doing was creative things, and the rest of the world wasn’t kind of getting in much, and one thing really informs the other. For example [for] my end of year piece, we were working on mythology, and I’ve done it on [Greek Goddess of the Underworld] Cora and Cora gets mentioned in [Other album track] I, Germinate, so both of them informed each other there.

— What’s it like for your fellow students? Is it strange for them having a famous singer in the classroom?

No, because it’s all about the way that you present yourself. I figured that out a long time ago. If you walk around looking furtive, feeling uncomfortable then you’re just flashing a big light on saying ‘there’s something odd about me, look at me and wonder what that is’. Whereas I’m quite low rent, I’m low maintenance and, you know, if my hair gets brushed in the week time, that’s amazing. People are all there for their own reasons and there might be a moment where they go, ‘oh blimey, that’s a bit odd’ and that passes within a couple of days and then you’re just another classmate trying to get enough space in the classroom.

— The response to Other has been incredible. What was your intention with the album and why do you think people have responded so well to it?

My intention was to continue my relationship with Guy [Sigsworth, songwriter and producer who also collaborated on Moyet’s 2013 album The Minutes], to continue developing and learning about our creative process together. For this album, it was so much focused on the poetry and the lyricism. So whereas as before with other albums, a lot of the words get amputated or pushed into shape to fit the song structure. With this one, I was determined that the song structure would allow the flow of the words and my intention was to make an album that was authentic and purely for it’s own sake. And I think people have responded to it well because it is quality and it is interesting and it’s not cliched, and I think that people are starting to finally get that about me. I think it took a long time to get people away from the idea that I was this kind of nostalgia act.

— Does it get tiresome that people keep referring to you as on the comeback trail or an ’80s survivor?

The fact of the matter is you still have to write and record [albums] in between [releases], so you can’t just keep a permanent presence unless you’re on some kind of treadmill of doing covers. So I find that frustrating, but it no longer gets me angry. You just have to work around it and just explain yourself every single time. My ambition is not a comeback, I’m a musician. And I’m a musician whose career is progressive. If you see a career defined by how many records you sell, that’s your business – that’s not who I am.

— In the moments where you have taken time off in your 35-year career, you’ve said it has been enriching as you’ve found greater balance in your home life. Tell me about that journey.

It would disingenuous for me if I were to say that those things happened because I wanted to get a life-work balance. A life-work balance was had because of things that happened. A career is a sine wave and you’re going to come to the fore and you’re going to drop out of it, and I think that’s what differentiates an artist from a pop star. An artist carries on regardless of the size of their audience. You see so many people who have become very famous and [then] mourn that loss – all they’re waiting for is the next big hit and so they’re constantly chasing the next big commercial hit. For me, I found the dip in my career to actually be very liberating because when you are a cash cow, everybody’s got an opinion about what you should be doing. When you fall from what they consider to be that grace, their eyes are off you and they leave you alone. And so that’s where I found myself, where people weren’t interfering and then you have a greater chance to grow into whatever shape you’re going to make yourself. A balance was had because, when you’re not on call 24/7, you have more time to focus on the other things that will actually enrich your life, which is remembering that you are just another person in the community and you still have to contribute to that community and the community of your family, and in doing that you are open to so many more messages that are going on.

— How do you feel about touring Australasia for the first time in more than 30 years?

It’s highly likely that I won’t get back again at my age so it’s a really significant tour for me, this one in Australasia. Expect electronica, don’t expect That Ole Devil Called Love, don’t expect Invisible, do expect some Yazoo and some Alf but expect there to be some volume and edge. While I do old stuff, it’s reworked and it’s not merely an ’80s fest.

— What’s been the most amazing thing about being Alison Moyet?

[Struggles for words for a brief moment.] It sounds like one of those ‘pop star’ answers but it’s that I’ve survived everyday to find the next day more rewarding. If I can tell you anything, getting to your 40s and 50s is the best time of your life if you’re willing to run with it. I’ve never been happier. It’s really liberating when you start to trust your own voice. We spend such a long time as women being told that we’re supposed to be informed by things that have been predetermined for us and it’s a lie. You really can escape that.

Saturday 14 October – ASB Theatre – Auckland – very limited tickets available from

Monday 16 October – Isaac Theatre Royal – Christchurch – SOLD OUT